Sunday, 9 January 2011

Review Of 'The Haunting'

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Fig 1 - 'The Haunting' Cinema Posting
‘The Haunting’ is a classic film in which a group of researcher try to uncover paranormal activity in a mansion prone to mysterious deaths and unnatural events. In essence the film main protagonist is the young Eleanor Lance as she monologues her experiences of the encounter she faces. Nevertheless, sending poor ‘Nell’ insane and furthermore into a dramatic and shocking end.
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Fig 2 Nell Drawn Up The Stairs


As a film it represents the stereotypical approach to horror flicks associated with the supernatural. Yet compared to others film which, followed suit it hasn’t lost that creepy and eerie feeling that keeps viewers up at night like its successors. Nevertheless ‘The Haunting’ represent the ‘uncanny’ element as strongly as it possible can be portrayed on-screen (naturally any reality will win outright when something goes bump in the night). As such ‘The Haunting has so many of those familiar clichés, the prodding suggestions of countless supernatural tales, it should be laughable but there is deeper, subtler creepiness at work here — the shadowy recesses of the human mind.’ -  Ian Nathan
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Fig 3  - Knock Knock...Nell and Theodora Scared
In other words Robert Wise uses his imagery to provoke our childish fears of the supernatural in extension our beliefs of the supernatural itself. ‘The success of this spooky movie is in what it leaves to our imagination. Sure, things do go bump in the night but we never see them.’ – Film 4
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Fig 4 - Luke Hiting On  Theadora
In example one crucial moment in the films is the first night where the door knob turns as if to toy with Theodora and Nell as they cuddle together in the bed in fear.  For Wise this was important to get the motion correct and not to dramatise too much. The subtle twist of the door knob can be associated with the mind playing tricks as most children accounts of the supernatural are believed to be along these lines. For this reason we can place are selves in that same scenario. 
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Fig 5  - Cowaring again
 
In other scenes they use iconic supernatural events such as, the banging on the walls and the mysterious voices echo through the house. As commonly known events related to haunting. The Viewers can immediately sympathies with the fear of the actors as the emotion are reciprocated by them in a similar scenario. In retrospect ‘Wise’ enable the viewer to immerse themselves into any role of the characters experiences and yet remains adamant to not engage the paranormal entity fully by showing it as a visible entity or making the scene more dramatic. In turn ‘The success of this spooky movie is in what it leaves to our imagination. Sure, things do go bump in the night but we never see them.’ –  
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Fig 6 - The Morning After
Yet as a whole the House plays its role displaying decor past it sell by date so to speak. The facades of the old Victorian mansion practically invite us to see to believe there a supernatural entity as we engage ourselves in that stereotype. Nevertheless key feature of the home give the nature of the establishment an air of evil. In respect such as the ornamental statue of the predecessor to the house and even the 2nd floor whole a gaping wide corridor leading to the main chambers. In the essence ‘the star of the film is undoubtedly the house, and once inside it begins not only to haunt the characters but the viewer too. Cinematographer Davis Boulton extrudes considerable atmosphere from the gothic splendour of the house.’ - Almar Haflidason
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Fig. 7 - Hill House
In conclusion, The Haunting is a must watch as it toys with our emotion. Without doubt making we think twice about turning of the lights. Wise use every element of this film to connect to his viewers. A few examples are the subtle movements, the clichés events and even the characters. Yes, the character can represent very much world as a divide on subject of supernatural and magic. For example ‘Dr John Markway’ represents the population that believes in science and how that paranormal activity can be explained through theory. To the other extreme Theodora represent the psychics that can speak and have interaction with the dead. As for Luke and Eleanor they do nothing more than represent the majority of the population - but from two different angles ‘those who believed that they have experienced supernatural activity’ (Nell) and the ‘Non-believers’ (Luke). Therefore, allowing us to see ourselves as them character and without doubt making the film seem a little too close to reality
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Fig 8 - The Final Assualt - Everyone Stares As The Doors Bellow And The Knocking Begins







Bibliography


 (Accessed on10.01.11)

Film4. The Haunting http://www.film4.com/reviews/1963/the-haunting
 (Accessed on10.01.11)

Haflidason, Almar. (2000) The Haunting 1963 http://www.film4.com/reviews/1963/the-haunting
 (Accessed on10.01.11)


List Of Illustrations



Fig 1 Wise,Robert (1963) The Haunting' Cinema Posting
[Film Poster] From:The Haunting


Fig 2 Wise,Robert (1963) Nell Drawn Up The Stairs
[Film Still] From:The Haunting

Fig 3 Wise,Robert (1963) Knock Knock...Nell and Theodora Scared
[Film Still] From:The Haunting

Fig 4 Wise,Robert (1963)  Luke Hiting On  Theadora
[Film Still] From:The Haunting

Fig 5 Wise,Robert (1963)  Cowaring again
[Film Still] From:The Haunting

Fig 6 Wise,Robert (1963) The Morning After
[Film Still] From:The Haunting


Fig 7 Wise,Robert (1963) Hill House
[Film Still] From:The Haunting


Fig 8 Wise,Robert (1963) The Final Assualt - Everyone Stares As The Doors Bellow And The Knocking Begins
[Film Still] From:The Haunting





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